Navigating Abstinence for Christian Brothers

Navigating Abstinence for Christian Brothers

Today’s post is for my Christian brothers.

While this is not a Christian system and nor am I a Christian, I do have a lot of Christian clients. I work with men who are ministers, monks, former monks, believers, and even pastors of megachurches. There are plenty of religious men who are part of the Porn Reboot group and I want to help these men today.

A brother asked,

“Hey J.K. I’m a Christian and I want to wait until marriage to have sex because I’m still a virgin and would like to save myself for my spouse. I also believe that masturbation is probably wrong. Is there anything different I should be doing if I plan to have absolute abstinence from all sexual contact before marriage? 

“I’m also worried that my future spouse will have a lower sex drive than me. What is a good way to determine whether she and I will match in sex drive? How important is that overall, anyways? Thanks, brother.”

Again, while I am not a religious person and this is not a religious system, I fully support my Christian brothers. If you’re a Christian man who struggles with porn addiction problems, I understand what an overwhelming thing it can be. I hold no animosity or judgment for my Christian brothers and mean no disrespect to any religion here at Porn Reboot.

I want to break down this important question for you if these are some things you’re having a hard time with, too.

Is Masturbation Wrong?

This gentleman mentioned that masturbation is “probably” wrong. I hear that from a lot of my Christian and Muslim clients. They believe that masturbation is wrong but you can almost always hear the hesitation in their voice when they say this.

Here’s the thing, brother. You either believe in something or you don’t. You cannot believe that something is “probably” right or wrong. If you’re in this position, you “probably” don’t believe that’s the truth. Someone may have implied that it’s wrong, suggested that it’s temptation, or even explicitly told you that it’s wrong, but deep in your heart, you may not believe that.

At the same time, this half-belief creates a deep sense of guilt and shame. Once you’re addicted to porn and can’t control your sexual behavior, you’re left feeling like a sinner, like a weakling, like less of a man. You might believe that you’re going to hell for your actions.

In reality, though, you may not be as awful as you think. Your porn addiction might not be an addiction at all, either. You may be so conditioned by your religious beliefs to see yourself as a sick, compulsive, sexual person but realize after talking with us that your behavior isn’t as compulsive as you originally thought.

Sometimes we’ve even talked with Christian men who believed they had a problem when they showed up to the Porn Reboot group. After spending some time around the group, though, they realize their problem wasn’t as severe as they thought. They’re able to go about their lives with a newfound understanding of masturbation and come to terms with their natural, inherent, biological sexual drive.

Abstinence Before Marriage

Abstinence before marriage is a personal decision for every person. While I never recommend complete abstinence, nor is the Porn Reboot system based around it, I’ll never tell a man what he should do when it comes to his personal beliefs.

I have found that complete abstinence works for some men but not for others. We teach control over your sexual behavior and help you learn to manage your sexual urges. We also teach you how to accept yourself as a sexual being and that means we don’t recommend complete abstinence.

If abstinence is part of your religious convictions, though, you may want to leave these aspects of the Porn Reboot system aside. There’s nothing wrong with abstinence before marriage if that’s the path you choose to take but it will mean leaving behind some parts of the system that don’t align with your personal religious beliefs.

Sexual Repression

The biggest problem I notice among my Christian clients is the shift toward sexual repression. A lot of men who remain abstinent end up in the realm of sexual repression rather than rebooting. They believe that being free from porn and masturbation for a few years means they’ve successfully rebooted, but that might not be the case.

I hear from men with these porn-free years who find they still experience porn-induced erectile dysfunction. They haven’t acted out on their behaviors for years but still cannot achieve an erection naturally. Men who are in this position haven’t rebooted, they’ve only repressed themselves sexually.

While having sex isn’t a required part of the Porn Reboot system, we do require that you don’t repress yourself sexually. We need to find out what that looks like for you, especially if you’re choosing to remain completely abstinent until marriage. But when you fall into this space you’re still not fully rebooted and have some more work to do.

Differences in Sex Drive

This is a problem I hear often from men who choose to remain abstinent until marriage. The truth is, there’s no way for you to know what your future wife’s sex drive is like. You’ll never know until the two of you finally have sex. 

At the same time, there’s also no way for you to know what your sex drive is really like either, especially at the start of your reboot. You are dealing with compulsive behavior. You do not know the difference between your actual sex drive and the urges you’re medicating with porn, masturbation, and sex.

You’ll only learn what your natural sex drive is as your brain rewires over time. Men who actively have sex during their reboot can learn about healthy sex sooner than men who choose to remain abstinent. You won’t have the opportunity to engage in any sexual behavior when you choose to remain abstinent, though, so you’ll miss out on finding out what your baseline sex drive is until you’re married. 

Matching Sex Drives

The final part of our brother’s question asked whether matching sex drives is truly important. In my opinion, finding a partner whose sex drive matches yours is imperative. I think when you’re an individual who has successfully rebooted and wants to have a healthy sex life, your partner should want to have sex as frequently as you do.

Admittedly this is a deeper topic that I could expound upon in another post, the basics of it are the same. I do believe that partners should have similar sex drives otherwise this creates even more problems down the line. But if you choose to remain abstinent until marriage, you’ll never know whether you and your partner have matching sex drives until you get married.

Christians and Porn

Ultimately, brother, being a Christian and struggling with porn addiction recovery doesn’t make you a terrible person. I don’t believe it means that you’re going to hell or that you’re beyond saving. I know many Christian men who have overcome their compulsive sexual behavior and become incredible, stand-up members of society.

The choice to remain abstinent until marriage is yours alone. It’s not something that I recommend but I still know men who have been successful in their reboots while remaining abstinent. If you’re looking for some help with similar struggles, come check out the Porn Reboot Facebook group. You’re guaranteed to find another man who can share his experience with you and support you along the way, whatever you decide to do.

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